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They Said It: Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, and Rod Brind’Amour talk about disappointing loss to Panthers

The Hurricanes spoke to the media after a loss that saw them blow a lead and fight back ultimately to lose in overtime.

Jordan Staal continues to play the puck, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the Florida Panthers in overtime, 4-3.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Hurricanes started strong, but played a poor final two periods and change in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers at PNC Arena Wednesday night.

Rod Brind’Amour, Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal spoke to the media following the loss, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:

Rod Brind’Amour

On the difference after the first period: We were good in the start. Even though we were up two, I thought it was just a good, solid period. And then really halfway through the game we were pretty good, and then when we took that penalty and then they scored, I thought everything changed after that. I thought we were just on our heels the whole rest of the way. We probably got fortunate to even get a point out of it.

On Alex Nedeljkovic: I thought he was good. Tonight, obviously he’d like to have that one back, but he made a couple really big saves. The empty netter, sliding across, would have been a tap-in. The one goal obviously, he’d like to have back. But he certainly wasn’t the issue tonight. We weren’t very good.

On keeping Nedeljkovic’s confidence up: It’s not on the goalie when you play like that. That second half of the game, we just didn’t get to work, and just let the other team back in. They’ve got too much talent to do that. It’s the NHL. You’re going to get what we got when you’re not ready to play every shift. It’s 60 minutes. There’s no way around it. It’s not on the goalie. He’s been good, and he made some really big saves for us. We have to be better for the whole game.

On Vincent Trocheck: He’s been good all year. It wasn’t just tonight. He’s engaged and he competes. It was a 60-minute effort out of him. We’ve been fortunate that he’s played so well. That was a big goal just to get a point for us.

Sebastian Aho

On what changed after the good first period: Good first period. We were ready to play. We played our game, got pucks deep, went on the forecheck, and got lots of pucks back. We created a few turnovers like with Jordan’s goal. The last few periods and OT we were missing details and maybe got a little bit sloppy with the puck at the blue lines. That’s a great team, so we have to play better and keep our game going for a full 60 minutes.

On if the team just needs to forget about that game and move on: Exactly, yeah. There are a lot of games coming up and we’ll just have to take some positives and learn from this and move forward.

Jordan Staal

On what changed as the game went on and how the game fell apart: The way we finished that game was disappointing. We were in control at first but we let them back into it with sloppy play and not being sharp. Just trying to be a little cute, it’s been going on for a little long and we’ve gotten away with it. We gotta find a way to get to the game that we know we can play. The simplicity of getting in behind them and grinding them out and creating chances off of turnovers.

On if that is something that he, as the captain, needs to address: I should have done a better job, obviously, with the way that ended. Going forward, I’m gonna have to be even harder on it. I’m disappointed with the way we finished that game and the way we’re playing I guess. We’ll have to figure it out here soon and quick and get to our game that we know we can play.

On if he feels fortunate that they managed to even get a point out of the game: Fortunate, yep. I thought Ned made some big saves. There was definitely some momentum lost in that second and third period that we struggled to get back.

On the issues in overtime: I think it was a continuation of our second and third. It’s a control 3-on-3, so you try to hold onto the puck as best you can. Obviously, make the plays that are there. There are only three people out there, so if there’s a turnover, there’s gonna be a big chance the other way. When we have the puck, we have to be aware. It’s unfortunate that we were on the wrong side of that one.